It has been confirmed by trainer Charles Byrnes that former Irish Champion Hurdle winner Solwhit will go to the Cheltenham Festival after all and will be aimed towards the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. It will be the first time he has ever taken in the three-mile trip but after a season of second places behind Hurricane Fly over 2 miles he will now be allowed to take his chance against the likes of Big Buck's and Grand Crus. Solwhit has proven to be a high class horse over the past couple of years with six Grade 1 wins to his name; he was well backed for the Champion Hurdle last season and will be an interesting candidate for the World Hurdle from a betting point of view. It had originally been thought that Solwhit would miss the Festival this season but after being given a rest at home he is back in good shape and should add another fascinating angle to the already exciting World Hurdle mix.
There was a worry at the start of the season that the World Hurdle would be a non-betting event with Big Buck's the clear favourite for a third successive win in the race. However, following the emergence of Grand Crus who hacked up in the Cleeve Hurdle and now Solwhit to the betting, punters are beginning to get involved in what could turn out to be one of the highlights of the Festival. Solwhit is around a 14/1 shot at this stage for the World Hurdle mainly due to that fact that he could be anything over the extra trip, the bookmakers are eager to stay on the right side of him whilst also recognising that it is asking a lot for him to beat a horse like Big Buck's. At the prices Solwhit could prove popular over the next couple of weeks especially with the each-way punters as they search for some good value bets for the Cheltenham Festival. Solwhit has lost to Hurricane Fly three consecutive times this season so should the Willie Mullins horse run well in the Champion Hurdle that will frank the form of Solwhit ahead of the World Hurdle later in the week.